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T-Ball
The Right puts its best feces forward

by Bryan Zepp Jamieson
April 15, 2009

I have read the tea leaves, and the tea leaves say “clusterfuck!”

Today was tax day, and of course that meant the loony-tunes right had their big tax protests, the “teabagging parties.” As Anderson Cooper memorably remarked, “It's hard to talk when you're teabagging.”

Not, mind you, that this slowed down the diarrhetic right any. Governor Perry, dubbed forever “Governor Goodhair” by the late Molly Ivins, stood and proclaimed Texas' right to secede from the union. I had to remind myself that Texas has ports and resources that are valuable to Americans, and that not all Texans are batshit crazy like the gubbiner. Even if they do keep electing clowns like Goodhair and before him, George W Bush. Besides, someone should ask Mexico if they want a third world buffer state between themselves and the US, especially since about all Texas can do is contribute to the gun running and drug addiction problems Mexico and the US inflict upon one another.

Goodhair, of course, has never cracked a history book, let alone read something without funny pictures, like the US Constitution. So he probably doesn't know about the Civil War. I mean, come on! He's a Texas Elected Official! He's doing good if he remembers to unzip before relieving himself.

“Joe the Plumber” weighed in on this day of days. It's an endless source of pleased fascination to me that he continues to be front and center for the GOP. It's a bit like the FBI making Inspector Clouseau their mascot. “Joe” is where GOP dreams of credibility go to die.

His latest? In some parts of the US, they'll shoot you for saying “In God We Trust.” “Joe” didn't go into who would shoot you for that, or why, or for that matter why you would even be bothered saying it in the first place. But shot you will be, according to “Joe.” I thought briefly of having people send “Joe” dollar bills with holes punched through the motto, but it's a crime to deface the currency, and besides, “Joe” would just pocket them and not declare them on his taxes.

The Washington, DC rally wasn't going to make anyone forget King's “I Have A Dream” rally. Several hundred turned up for that. They were going to take one million bags of tea and dump them in the Potomac, and were advised that this would violate several large and important environmental laws, not to mention over-caffeinating millions of fish. “School of bass attack, eat ocean liner! Film at 11!”

So they decided to just dump the teabags in the middle of Lafayette Park. Except the park authorities took a dim view of that. They would, at the very least, need a permit. (I'm still trying to figure out what permit you can get that allows you to dump a million teabags into a public park. I bet it's got its own code prefix.)

So the truck with the million tea bags drove off into the sunset, quite a trick at two in the afternoon, and presumably the contents will be saved for disaster relief in Ohio after all the plumbing fails at once.

In New York, TV broadcast one hyperventilating sort who wanted to know how Obama could run a country if he had never even run a business. We had one of those last time. He even had an MBA, which is a special type of business license that allows you to steal with both hands. It didn't work out so well. It left me wondering how these protesters, who couldn't even manage a credible anti-tax rally in Boston, could tell a Constitutional Scholar how to run the country.

In Boston, which also attracted hundreds to one of those rallies, the Fox reporter, showing the fairness and balance for which his network is renowned, asked, “Guys, when are we going to wake up and start fighting the fascism that seems to be permeating this country?” Maybe this guy, Willard, started by infiltrating Fox and covering the nutball rallies.

In Houston, home to right wing zaniness, a couple of thousand turned up. My favorite moment was seeing a sign: “We Miss Reagan.” Yes. Let's put the tax rates on the rich back to the levels they were by the end of Reagan's second term. Which would be about 13% above what they are now. Well, you don't pick your right wing whack jobs for their brights. I think some of these guys might be doing meth to clear their heads.

It came on a day when Obama noted once again that his tax program would cut taxes for 98% of the taxpaying population, and on a day when it was announced that the Obamas had paid nearly $900K in taxes on income of $2.6 million. Incidentally, Obama is one of the 2% of the population who will see taxes go up – by three points – if his tax plan survives Congress intact.

The right was having paroxysms of fury and fear over a report from the Department of Homeland Security that right wing groups posed the greatest potential terrorist threat to America (hello? 1995? Oklahoma City?) and another report from the Southern Law Poverty Center, coincidentally on the same day, which reported that the number of hate groups active in the US had increased by 50% since 2002.

The right immediately took the depiction of extremists as potentially dangerous extremely personally, forgetting for a minute to stop threatening to assassinate the president if he took away their guns, something he isn't planning to do. They were outraged! How DARE the DHS suggest that their actions might match their words! Obviously, it was a plot by Obama to round up all conservatives and send them to the reeducation camps!

Except the report was commissioned in 2005, and effectively completed last December. It was requested by the Bush White House at a time when Republicans were still thinking seriously that they might be a permanent single party majority for generations. Hmmm.

Now, right wingers might want to ponder that for a bit. The GOP has built a base on gun freaks, jeezus wheezers and paranoids, and for a while there in 2005, they looked pretty well situated to grab the brass ring and just make America their own private playground for good.

So what DO you do with a pack of gun freaks, jeezus wheezers and paranoids who had already overthrown the country they were born in?

Well, you round them up. I suspect the right wingers are correct about the intent behind that DHS report, but I don't think it was Obama's intent. I think this is kinda what Karl Rove and Dick Cheney felt needed to be done with noisy, unstable nuts who were no longer of any use.

I'm just sayin'...

The DHS report, disquieting as it is for these implications, did actually warn of a growing problem that I've been expecting for six years now. There are a lot of soldiers coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, and a lot of them have been involved in things that corroded their psyches and left them distanced from everyday life and normal interactions with other humans. When you are sent over to a strange land to torture, murder, rape, brutalize, suppress and sneer at the native population, you don't come back as an emotionally healthy human being. A lot of soldiers aren't, and a lot of the wounded have injuries of the sort that let them function, but not without help that isn't there. Further, they come back to a future with no prospects; no work, no credit to buy a house, and things looking bad.

The report notes that a lot of them are easy targets for recruitment by extremist groups. And that's just what's happening.

The right is in a fury about that, too. Even if they admit it's true, they can't get around the fact that they created those occupations, and they've fed and nurtured those extremist groups with their own wild rhetoric for years. Between Goodhair and “Joe” and Willard, we saw some sterling examples of that rhetoric today. Secession. Fascism. Claims that people were being shot for being Christian. That's some pretty poisonous stuff.

I'm hoping a lot of people are watching all this, and feel as repelled by it as I do. These extremists on the right have no morals, no love of country (beyond the utterly fabricated patriotism, which, like their religion, provides a comfortable skirt to hide behind when challenged) and no compunctions about saying or doing anything to try and steal it from the rest of us.

It's going to get worse.

How much worse?

We might see another Oklahoma City. Or even a 9/11. Or someone will try to shoot Obama, or one of his little girls. Another pack of nuts will take up residence on a compound and fire at cops and troop who approach. Or some damn thing.

The Tea Bagging Parties were a joke. But the people funding such aren't joking around. Remember that.

Posted: April 20, 2009

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